According to the Sunday Express, Inter Milan will look to North London to replace Lautaro Martinez should he complete a reported £92m switch to Barcelona this summer.
Inter Milan and their search for a Martinez replacement
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the man who Inter Milan will look towards to replace Martinez, and should the Martinez transfer go through, they should have little issue with being able to afford the Gabonese.
Aubameyang is out of contract at Arsenal at the end of next season and according to reports, he won’t sign an extension without the chance to play European football.
Inter Milan reportedly have a list of five players who they will target should Martinez’s release clause be triggered this summer. As well as Aubameyang, Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial are also on the list.
Martinez, who is 22-years-old, has scored 16 goals in his 30 appearances across all competitions this season. By comparison, Aubameyang has 17 goals in 22 appearances in all competitions, Giroud has two goals in nine appearances while Martial has 14 goals in 30.
Martinez has been a vital cog in the Inter Milan machine this season, and has been a major contributing factor in a season that sees them sitting third in Serie A, six points off the top with a game in hand (following the postponement of today’s clash).
Having said that, Martinez hasn’t been as important to Inter Milan as Aubameyang has to Arsenal. The Argentine has directly contributed to 28% of Inter’s league goals this season while Aubameyang has been directly involved in a whopping 44% of Arsenal’s.
Does it make sense for Arsenal to sell?
This move, as much as it would hurt Arsenal to lose Aubameyang, does somewhat make sense from a business perspective. If they don’t get into Europe, there’s a chance they could lose him for nothing in summer 2021 anyway – by which time he will be 32-years-old.
The age is also an issue for the simple fact that once players get to 30 and older, their value starts to decline.
If there is a chance Arsenal can make a big buck on Aubameyang this summer, with his contract expiry looming as well as him not getting any younger, a shrewd businessman like Stan Kroenke won’t pass up that opportunity I’m sure.
There’s also the Gabriel Martinelli factor of it all. A move away for Aubameyang would most likely mean a promotion for Martinelli, who has been growing more and more influential as the season has gone on.
So, with a ready made replacement and a lot of money to be made from the deal, I can’t see Arsenal rejecting this move. They, like all football clubs these days (rather depressingly), are money motivated and this is a great chance to make a lot of it!